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Archive for June 14th, 2009

Day 56 - The Indian Ocean

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

The Indian Ocean is the third largest Ocean on Earth. At its widest point between Southern Africa and Australia it is over 5,000 nautical miles wide. Guy and Andrew started on 19th April in Western Australia at approximately latitude 28 degress South and longitude 114 degrees East. They are heading for Mauritius which is approximately latitude 20 degress South and longitude 57 degrees East. The distance between Geraldton and Mauritius as the crow flies is 3,132 nautical miles. The distance differs however in the route that you take. If you go north from Geraldton and then straight to Mauritius, the distance will be 6% longer given the increased diameter of the earth nearer the equator.

In the Southern Indian Ocean nicknamed the “cauldron” the currents travel in a counterclockwise direction. The Southern Ocean cauldron is dominated by low pressure systems which move across the base of the planet at alarming speeds causing extremely violent weather systems. These low pressure systems interact with Westerly winds and these cause mixing and swirling in the middle latitudes where the rowing fleet are crossing. Andrew and Guy suffered from this interaction in the storm they experienced between 19 May and 22 May.

The main importance of the Indian Ocean has been as a trade route between Africa and Asia. Petroleum extracted mainly from the Persian Gulf area is also important. Relatively warm surface temperatures keep the growth of phytoplankton low, which limits ocean life. Fishing is only done at a subsistence level. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below, we’ll endeavour to get back to you directly.
Flying Ferkins Support Crew out.

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